The co-founder ofrecently discussed AI’s future in animation.
In an interview with, DreamWorks co-founder Jeff Katzenberg stated that he believes AI could cut 90% of animation labor. The co-founder said that he sees AI as a beneficial tool for the future, and considered the animation landscape today compared to his early years in the industry. “In the good old days, when I made an animated movie, it took 500 artists five years to make a world-class animated movie. I think it won’t take 10% of that. Literally, I don’t think it will take 10% of that three years from now” he explained.
Katzenberg Sees AI Prompting as a Skill
Katzenberg went on to explain the exponential growth of creative mediums and how he believes AI is the next logical step in the evolution of creative progress. “If you look at a historical perspective, whether we went from a pen, a paintbrush, a printing press, a still camera, a movie camera, these are things that just expanded creativity and all sorts of storytelling in extraordinary ways.” While this makes sense at a glance, unlike the tools that preceded it, AI is already directly impacting the employment of humans in a plethora of industries. Katzenberg attempted to justifyby saying that it still relies on “individual creativity,” and that the ability to properly prompt AI for a specific result will be a “creative commodity.”
It goes without saying that his comments caused a great deal of backlash from the animation industry. The comments come on the heels of the recent WGA and, which ended this week after months-long negotiations with studio executives. One important issue under consideration was the unions’ demands to keep AI out of their respective industries. The Animation Guild (TAG) contract is up in 2024, and thus a strike is very much a possibility in the future, with AI being something serious to consider.
In a, the guild stated: “For more than 6 months the TAG #AI task force has met with experts & is working to protect TAG members from the ramifications of AI. These collective efforts are paving the way for comprehensive recommendations that will be presented early next year to prepare for negotiations.” The group is already preparing to defend themselves against the use of AI, and Katzenberg’s comments show that TAG is right to do so. The DreamWorks co-founder claimed to see it as a creative tool, but the potential to cut 90% of labor costs is incredibly daunting, and it’s clear that animators and artists want it removed from their space to ensure human creativity is put first.
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